The atmosphere at the office was a certain mix of excitement and fear before the latest SSP team building event. Chatter filled the office:
"This is going to be blast!
“Is it going to be painful?”
After a half day of anticipation in the office, it was time to load up the cars and drive over.
Everyone gathered around once all the cars arrived and it was time to hear the safety rules. It was simple “always wear goggles” and "barrel socks on" while outside of the play area. With the safety rules covered we got geared up with masks and guns.
We made sure to split up the paintball enthusiasts (the company has a lot of good athletes, which leaves us always discovering new talents at each SSP team building event) by making them team captains. This was of course because we knew some people would make the best captains. (Not because we were afraid afraid of getting hit a lot if they were on the same team; I mean definitely not ...)
One after another, the teams got created, and we proceeded out to the field.
The first game was about to start, and the nerves were clear, showing in those who had never played before (myself included). This was the time to find out how much this game was going to hurt.
The first mad dash was the scariest for everyone not experienced in paintball (I believe this was most of us). But, we all had to get hit that first time — to understand that being hit with a paintball wasn’t as bad as some of us were thinking. The start of the dash certainly went strong for my team: We got two wins back to back, right out of the gate. And there was this feeling that everyone was working together fluidly. A moment when playing a game similar to capture the flag demonstrated this: Konstantin was running with the flag. The rest of the team jumped in to help him make it to the goal. And we won the match. It wasn't consulting work, but it took teamwork and communication no less.
The games continued throughout the day, and I never felt like the excitement wore down. Everyone wanted to keep going even with fatigue setting in. (That's a common theme at SSP team building events, which we take at least four times a year.) There was a lot of talk in-between games about how the team was working together and how we could improve our strategy for the next round. Battle scars were compared, and care was taken in making sure everyone was hydrated and not going to pass out. Eventually we got to the end of our day and the start of the last game.
This final game had my favorite moment of the day. The timer was running down, and nearly everyone was tagged-out on both teams. The last of my team made a dash and raised our flag for the win, but just in the last second — victory was stolen. So even though my team lost, the photo finish made it worth it. Everyone was excited and cheering, and it was a perfect end before heading down to the watering hole. Another event in the books.
With everyone exhausted, taking a seat to get some drinks was welcome. People gathered around smiling and laughing as we recapped the events of the day. There was celebration of the heroes of each game, comparing “battle scars,” and last-minute argument of the technicality of when the timer ended for the last game. Everyone was in good spirits and perhaps a little sore. The remainder of the night consisted of friendly conversation, with a little business thrown in here and there, before it was time to head home.
Have you got an idea about a great team-building event or a suggestion that was successful with your team? Let us know in the comments! Skye is always looking for more suggestions about what we could try.